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Producers Guild Execs: "Historic" Producers Mark Finally Accepted by All Six Major Studios

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 11, 2013 at 9:54AM

The Producers Guild of America has waged a ten-year campaign to get the six major studios to adopt their "Producers Mark" on their films. It's a Seal of Approval showing that the credited producers on the film meet the strict criteria set by the PGA. And they finally got all six studios to sign up to implement the on-screen "p.g.a." credit and certification.
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PGA logo

The Producers Guild of America has waged a ten-year campaign to get the six major studios to adopt their "Producers Mark" on their films. It's a Seal of Approval showing that the credited producers on the film meet the strict criteria set by the PGA. And they finally got all six studios to sign up to implement the on-screen "p.g.a." credit and certification.

According to three officers at the PGA, president Mark Gordon, president on leave Hawk Koch, and National Director Vance Van Petten, over the past 2 1/2 years they have each approached the studios, one by one. The first two studio executives to sign on were Universal Pictures' Ron Meyer and Sony Pictures' Michael Lynton, followed by Twentieth Century Fox and, this week, the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Gordon, Koch and Van Petten say the negotiations with studio heads, attorneys and labor relations took time. 

"Any change is hard," says Gordon during a phone interview with Koch and Van Petten. "Any time you have a group pf separate companies all of whom have business practices that have been in effect forever, we believe that ultimately it came down to, not from a business perspective, 'what's in it for us,' but 'what is the right thing to do.'"  

Adds Koch: "For a long time a lot of people have taken producer credits who didn't really produce the movie. We put together a code of credits, a set of criteria, for the Oscars, Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards and BAFTAs. They all used the PGA to determine who produced. The next level is not waiting for awards seasons to the let the business and public know who did the majority of the work."

The studios worked closely with them to define clearly the job descriptions, adds Van Petten, who thinks the seal of approval next to a producers name will help in future hiring of producers who know how to produce a film. 

The U.S. Department of Justice was fine with the PGA mission as long as they approached the studios one at a time. Fifty films so far carry the “p.g.a.” certification, from independent and animated to major studio films.

The PGA regards establishing the “Produced by” credit certification as important in protecting the integrity of the producer's role on a movie. Once a producer’s work on a film is certified by the PGA, the 'Produced by' credit and producer’s name will be followed by the distinctive mark: p.g.a."

Koch will re-join Gordon as co-president of the Producers Guild of America on July 30th, 2013 when his term as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expires.

More details on the jump:

This article is related to: Producers Guild Awards, Studios


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.